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Theory and Application of Existential Humanistic Therapeutic ApproachTerm Paper

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Existential Humanistic therapeutic theoretical framework uses different approach to achieve therapeutic goals, intervention strategies and case conceptualization. (Health Services Administration, 1999). The theory focuses on individuals rather than symptom and emphasizes on understanding of human experience. Typically, psychological problems such as substance abuse disorders can inhibit people's from making a meaningful, authentic, and self -directed choices on the method to make a good living. (Health and Human Services, 2012). Consequently, an intervention aims at increasing self-understanding and self-awareness. Humanistic believes that people have capacity to achieve choice and self- awareness. Moreover, Humanistic views human nature as being good with a potential ability to maintain meaningful relationships, maintain health and have ability to make choices. The goal of a humanistic therapist is to assist people freeing themselves from attitudes and assumptions in order to live a fuller live. Rather than curing disease, therapists emphasize on self-actualization and growth in order to alleviate disorders. In essence, humanistic therapists attempt to create a warm and accepting therapeutic relationship to actualize a health direction. (Hoffman, L., et al. 2009).

Objective of this paper is to discuss the theory of Existential Humanistic Therapy, and apply the interventions/concepts in an integrated and thoughtful method.

Theory of Existential Humanistic Therapy

A report presented by Health and Human Services (2012) reveals that existential and humanistic share a common belief that people should have a capacity to achieve choice and self- awareness. Typically, the humanistic theory believes that human nature has inherent and potential ability to maintain meaningful and healthy relationships in order to make choices. In essence, the goal of humanistic therapeutic approach focuses on assisting people from removing themselves from attitudes and assumptions to live a fuller live. Therapists emphasize on self-actualization and growth rather than alleviating disorders and cure diseases. (Keddy, 2011). In other words, humanistic therapists attempt to create an effective and warm therapeutic relationships to actualize a healthy direction. On the other hand, the goal of existential is to assist clients to act and think responsibly, and authentically. The existential theoretical approach believes that central problems of people are isolation, loneliness, and despair. (Shumaker, 2012). Both the existential and humanistic therapeutic approach are effective in achieving health intervention for patients.

Intervention Strategy using the Existential Humanistic Therapeutic Approach

Fisher (2005) discusses the strategy that can be employed to achieve effective intervention for patients using the Existential Humanistic theoretical framework. Fisher, (2005) believes that trauma is associated to "wounds arising from childhood sexual abuse" (p 12), and existential psychotherapy is an effective intervention for patients suffering from childhood sexual abuse since it can assist in removing the torments associated to abuse. Typically, trauma can become unbearable psychic anxiety or pain. In the contemporary environment, children often attach themselves to powerful protectors in order to develop a self-reliance and secure base. (Fisher, 2005). When caretaker is sexually abuse, the life of a child can be shattered. Consequently, the child will be unable to establish healthy relationships with herself. The intervention therapeutic approach is to assist the child to discover her inner sensing in order to make a successful key connection with herself and others. In essence, existential-humanistic theoretical approach can assist the child to repair the psyche to discover faith in the world. (Fisher, 2005).

Existential therapists attempt to heal the wound by entering into the private world of patients and allow them to connect to themselves and the outside world. Different therapeutic tools are available to enhance patients' intervention. First, "awaring" is one of the therapeutic tools for the intervention that explores the subjective experience of patients. Focusing is another therapeutic tool to increase patients' internal awareness, and make contact with internal bodily awareness.

Alex, (2004) contributes to the argument by pointing out many cancer patients can experience existential isolation, death anxiety, and existential meaninglessness. Existential theoretical approach is an effective intervention tool to manage pain, vomiting and nausea, and the theory is an effective strategy to address existential meaninglessness, existential isolation, and death anxiety. Ghaemi, (2007) in his own argument believes that existential psychotherapy is an effective intervention strategy for a DR (depressive realism). Typically, the chronic subsyndromal depression can lead to bipolar disorder. Moreover, an existential psychotherapeutic is an effective intervention to address despair, mood disorders and depression. Lantz, & Gregoire (2000) believe that existential intervention is an effective intervention strategy to combat traumatic pain. The authors carry out an experiment on 53 Vietnam veterans to investigate the effectiveness of existential psychotherapeutic to address the trauma. Between 1964 and 1975, the United States engaged in a bitter war with Vietnam, and many Vietnam veterans still suffer from the trauma and terrible emotional pain from the horror of war. Lantz, & Gregoire (2000) identify existential treatment therapeutic approach as an effective tool to address the traumatic pain of Vietnam veterans. The treatment elements consist of combatting trauma pain that involves telling the Vietnams veterans trauma pain, which is a way to "bring trauma pain out of the internal, unconscious world of the traumatized couple and into the interactional world of mutual awareness, understanding, encounter, and support." "(Lantz, & Gregoire, 2000 p 26). For example, Mrs. Jones was sexually abused when she was a child. Before the man abused her, he showed her nude photos of a man and woman having sex. (Nanda, 2013). For several years, Mrs. Jones had suffered from photo phobia, and horribly nervous towards photos. The therapist encouraged Mrs. Jones to tell about her photo phobia' events to assist her to be in control of the issue.

"Telling and renaming the "photo phobia" events helped Mrs. Jones to feel "more in control." In her words, she no longer felt like " a mental case." Instead, she "felt like a normal person." (Lantz, & Gregoire, 2000 p 26).

The video clip produced by American Psychological Association (2012) reveals a practical example of psychological disorders. The video clip demonstrates an experience of a client whose his father is a Vietnam veteran. In the video click, Dr. Schneider interviewed a man suffering from anger disorder, which was traced from his Vietnam veteran father who himself suffered from posttraumatic stress disorder. The client affirmed that his father physically abused him when he was a child and adolescent. The issue develops in making the client to always to demonstrate anger because he was brought up in a physically violent household making him felt abused and disrespected. On several occasions, the client has engaged in violence with peers in college and at home. He has always been in a domestic violence with his former girl friend, and recently engages in a rage road experience. The client admits of getting angry quickly if disrespected.

According to client ": I'm really still struggling with anger issues. As far back as I can remember even in preschool I've had a lot of anger inside of me and it always seems to happen over something relatively small incident." (American Psychological Association, 2012 p 1). Dr. Schneider recommends an anger management for the patients as well as court-mandated counselling to assist him to better understand, manage and control his anger. Dr. Schneider also recommends that the client should take time to work with his inner self through dialogue to develop love towards himself.

In essence, the Existential and Humanistic therapeutic approach use the reflective listening, empathy, and encouragement as effective therapeutic session. Whether using cognitive-behavioral therapy or psychodynamic, the therapeutic intervention assists in establishing rapport as well as proving meaningful engagements in the treatment process. (Health Services Administration, 1999). The therapy can also assist clients to understand the connection of reality with past experience, future expectation and present perceptions. Typically, many clients face surrounding substance abuse problems and problems of momentary circumstances, however, existential and humanistic approaches can assist in making decision regarding substance abuse recovery. (Health Services Administration, 1999).

Dr. Schneider provides a similar approach to apply a therapeutic intervention for a young Caucasian patient suffering from a sense of uncertainty with regards to his social interactions and career. Dr. Schneider works with the patient using the existential-integrative method to address his underlying intrapsychic conflict and social anxiety. The therapist uses tone of voice, pacing and verbal invitation to create space for the patient and help him relieving from expectations. The therapist also poses different type questions to probe into client's life as way to confront his resistance in order to commit him taking risks, and being positive with himself. (American Psychological Association, 2012).

A report carried out by the Health and Human Services (2012) reveals that Existential therapy is an effective approach to assist clients enhancing recovery since existential and humanistic therapies are referred as third force besides psychoanalysis, and behaviorism. The goal of humanistic therapy is to establish a therapeutic relationship, which is accepting, authentic, and collaborative unique to the world in which the clients live. In other world, the humanistic approach uses the holistic approach that is interrelated between clients' biological, psychological, spiritual and social dimensions. Humanistic psychology also assumes that people are capable of achieving innate capacity… [END OF PREVIEW]

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